Saturday, July 18, 2015

Ubi Caritas: God is Where there is Love

"For the  glory of God is a living man; and the life of man consists in beholding God. For if the manifestation of God which is made by means of the creation, affords life to all living in the earth, much more does that revelation of the Father which comes through the Word, give life to those who see God" (AH IV, 20, 7). 

We use these words often not always with the meaning that St. Irenaeus had when he  wrote them. Life is a gift but not always enjoyed, and the reasons are many. As Christians we have both the vertical and horizontal aspects of life which expands our vision and should make life more joyful and meaningful but one of the problems is our relations with others is not always smooth, nurturing and beneficial for the two parties, which will affect our relations with God. 

Jesus was strong in the wording he used to show us the importance of being on good terms with others. "If you bring your gift to the  altar and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar, go first to be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift" Matt.5

A priest in the labor apostolate gives us his thoughts in Bible & Life that come from his years working in labor groups within society.The article is about the liturgical meetings  he has  in the work place for the Catholic workers once a month. He recalls one of the Masses where he told the workers after they retire they are welcomed back to the meetings.  He knew that this would be a difficult thing to do but he sent out the invitation.

One of the men who had  retired  came to the monthly Mass and made everybody have a good laugh for the reason he came was to see if the group was continuing  without his presence. There was another man who the priest  noticed did not seem to pleased with the presence of the retired worker.

Before the Mass the worker  approached the priest and  wanted to talk;  they quietly left the group spent some time together. He told the priest that the retired individual was his boss in the factory and although outside of his work position he was pleasant to be with in the work place he made the work difficult. And was sorry to see him join the group. They finished the conversation and went back to the group and the Mass.

After Mass they went to the meal but the priest noticed that the two were missing. He was afraid some thing not nice had happened but the retired person returned and told the priest about the problems the two of them had in the past  but that night they were to go out together for a drink.

He concludes the article with life is difficult but we make it more difficult by not maintaining good relationships with others. The two were taking the steps to improve their communication, and he would like all of us to be on good terms with all especially those of the community of faith. This would go a long way in improving the environment of parish life, and fill us with joy that we would want to share with others.                                     

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